Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Sculptor-Gregory Funaro

The Sculptor
Gregory Funaro
Pinnacle, Jan 5 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9780786022120

Dr. Cathy Hildebrant is a shy retiring art history professor at Brown University and the author of Slumbering in the Stone, the bestselling definitive work on Michelangelo. Like everyone else residing in Providence, Rhode Island, the art historian is aware of the disappearance of football hero Tommy Campbell just prior to the Superbowl, but like almost everyone else Cathy has no reason to think the NFL player’s vanishing has anything to do with her.

However, she learns differently when FBI Special Agent Sam Markham arrives at her door to ask her to accompany him to a crime scene. At the estate of a broker, she is shown the corpse of Tommy posed with a young faun arranged to look like Michelangelo’s Bacchus with a plaque dedicating the horrific arrangement “For Dr. Hildebrant”. The Sculptor hero worships Michelangelo placing the great artist on a pedestal as he plans on using human corpses to replicate the Pieta at an exhibit. The FBI hires Dr. Hildebrandt as a consultant due to her knowledge of Michelangelo and the serial killer’s high regard of her. However the psychopath changes his opinion of her when he believes she betrayed him so he plans on her being the piece de resistance of his next great work of deadly art.

There are more discussions between characters than usual in a serial killer thriller so the audience understands what motivates each key player even the title character. Yet there is plenty of action centered on the gruesome exhibits of The Sculptor and the Feds efforts to end his methodical reign of terror. Although over the top of the Sistine Chapel, the audience will enjoy this creative roller coaster ride as Dr. Hildebrant learns horridly first hand art imitates art. Gregory Funaro displays a strong talent and if justice prevails his exciting novel will sell a hell of a lot more than his heroine’s book.

Harriet Klausner